Flying on a private jet is a status symbol, a luxury, and a necessity in most cases. It means that your time is so valuable that you have to be at multiple destinations around the world and don’t have time for layovers, overnight stays, or waiting around for the next flight to take you to your next stop. That is the chief advantage of private aircraft.
What Are the Costs of Owning Your Own Private Jet?
That being said, aircraft are chiefly constructed out of aerospace grade aluminum alloy 7075. This material can be difficult to weld and requires exact specifications and tolerances to produce something rugged enough for flight. The parts may cost a billion dollars or more to engineer and are only used in a limited number of productions. As a result, the cost of everything in a private jet is expensive. You can expect to pay $3 million to $90 million for a brand-new jet and at least $1 million for something used. And when it comes to used jets, the jets that have the most frequent use will hold up better over the years because aluminum jet engine parts degrade quickly when they are not regularly in service.
And of course, even if you buy your own jet, you still have to pay for maintenance, airport fees, fuel, and a crew to operate it. According to Jetsmarter, this price can range from $700,000 to $4 million a year on top of the purchase price. Needless to say, you better have more money than you know what to do with or important business plans that make the price practical. A limited range of people actually need their own private jet: superstar celebrities, major business moguls, mafia bosses, lottery winners, and those who inherited hundreds of millions of dollars or more.
Purchase Fractional Shares of a Jet
If you don’t have the money to outright buy a jet and you expect to fly 50 hours or more a year, fractional shares have been around for a while. But, they do not provide the same flexibility because you often have to give advance notice of when you need the jet. Other fractional shareholders may also need the jet at the same time. Furthermore, you face steep penalties if you exhaust your pre-allocated hours for the year and have to keep track on your own of hours actually flown. You can expect to pay $11,000 an hour. This is a great deal until you consider the cost savings if you charter a jet.
What Are My Alternatives to Buying a New Jet or a Fraction of One?
Thankfully, there are a number of alternatives that cost significantly less if you need to be somewhere in a hurry and haven’t quite enough incentive to tie up your money in a private jet or to pay exorbitant hourly fees to buy fractional shares. Most of these alternatives involve chartering a jet for a limited number of hours at a time. The cost per hour can range from a mere $129 to $10,000 or more.
One popular method of chartering a jet is to join a club. The membership prices can be as low as $6,000 a year while providing access to thousands of private jets to charter when you need them. It is possible to even charter jets by paying as low as $8 per mile instead of paying by the hour.
You can also look for empty-leg flights where a jet would otherwise have to fly to a destination empty and your ticket would at least help pay for some of the fuel costs. Some airports now mandate that private charter jets have to fill up their empty-leg flights at extremely low prices. Nationwide you can still save 30 to 75 percent on an empty leg by filling a hole that no one else wants at the ordinary prices.
Anyone can fly in a private jet simply to say that they have had the pleasure of the experience. Your best deals will be at airports where they mandate that passengers fly in empty-leg flight for the price of fuel. Even the superrich are very frugal about wasteful spending and rarely will splurge for a private jet unless it is critical to their improved wealth or security.